In the last 12 months, two of the biggest online gambling companies in Britain, Entertain and William Hill, were handed record fines by the UK Gambling Commission. Both companies were found to have failed in their responsibility to protect vulnerable customers and prevent money laundering. These fines serve as a stark reminder of the importance of gaming laws and regulations and the need for online gaming companies to comply with them.
While the fines were significant, they were just a fraction of the damages that problem gambling can cause. This is why it’s essential to only use sites that follow gaming laws and regulations when playing online.
In the UK, online gambling is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, which ensures that companies follow strict guidelines to protect players from harm. These guidelines are designed to ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way and that vulnerable players are protected. These laws pertain to not only casino and poker operators but online bingo sites as well.
Here are some of the most significant gaming laws in the UK that you need to follow:
Age Verification: To play at any UK online casino, you must be 18 years or older. All online casinos must verify the age of their players to prevent underage gambling. They do this by asking for identification documents such as a passport or driver’s license.
Anti-Money Laundering: Online casinos are also required to follow strict anti-money laundering regulations. This means that they must verify the identity of their players to prevent fraud.
Self-Exclusion: Self-exclusion is a powerful tool that allows you to take control of your gambling habits. All UK casinos must provide self-exclusion tools to their players.
Fair Gaming: All online casinos must ensure that their games are fair and that the outcomes are random. This is achieved by using a random number generator, which guarantees that the results of every game are entirely random.
Responsible Gambling: Online casinos must provide tools and resources to help players gamble responsibly. This includes setting deposit limits, taking breaks from gambling, and self-exclusion.
Customer Complaints: All online casinos must have a complaints procedure in place. If you have any issues with an online casino, you can submit a complaint to the UK Gambling Commission, which will investigate the matter.
This is the law around online gambling as it currently stands. However, the UK government has been actively working to implement new measures to ensure the safety of online gambling and have several proposals on the table.
One of the most significant changes proposed is the introduction of a statutory gambling operator levy to contribute to the funding of treatment services and research related to gambling addiction, including through the NHS.
Another proposed change is the introduction of new stake limits for online slots game to between £2 and £15 per spin.
The Gambling Commission is also set to receive extra powers to tackle black market operators through court orders and working with internet service providers to take down and block illegal gambling sites.
Additionally, new rules will be implemented to prevent bonus offers targeted at vulnerable individuals, and loopholes will be closed to ensure that under-18s cannot gamble online or via cash fruit machines.
Finally, the government has proposed the establishment of a new industry ombudsman to deal with disputes and rule on redress. This will provide players with an independent body to turn to if they have a complaint about a gambling operator.
Online gambling can be a fun and enjoyable activity, but it’s essential to make sure the sites you play at follow gaming laws and regulations to protect yourself and others from harm.